This month I’m joined by DL Hungerford, who also writes as Roxanna Haley. Demi is an avid bird lover and has had around 100 small birds in her home at one time! She enjoys writing Regency Romance and loves reading, especially the Outlander series.
Um, YES! Birds, books and brogues. I have so been looking forward to this.
J.W. Let’s start with a little PR talk. I’ve seen “trailers” for books and in fact, have known writers who’ve used them. Out of curiosity, what are your thoughts on them, and do you have a trailer or will you create one for your own works?
D.H. I have seen some impressive book trailers, but I feel that unless you get the same people as will be on your cover and who look like your characters, why bother? I guess it’s a personal thing. I don’t plan to do one for the Regency Banquet series, but maybe when the anthologies are up again, or going forward with those, I could change my mind.
J.W. That make sense. It would be weird to not have the same people if they show on the books. Instead of using trailers, have you done a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
D.H. When I put up my first Novella as Roxanna Haley, I was so inexperienced. I did nothing in the way of publicity except to tell friends and my RWA chapter. When we put the Bowman’s Inn Anthologies out, for the first two we did Facebook parties. We had a lot of fun and interacted with many readers, but that did not translate into purchases. In the long run, the results didn’t justify the cost.
I’m going to put up Book 2 in the Regency Banquet series and I will try presales as suggested in one of the workshops I sat in on at the RWA National Convention 2016. If that works, I will certainly share that information.
J.W. Good to know about the effort to return ratio for those techniques and we’d all be glad to hear the results of presales. Thank you. So now, if I may get slightly more personal, what drew you to write Romance, and more specifically, Regency Romance?
D.H. I came to the Regency genre because I started writing fan fiction for TV shows, including Star Trek. The Original Series. I grew frustrated that there was no universe I liked that I could use without getting lots of permissions. Then I started reading the Romances, and I was hooked. The language, the social customs, the devious ways around those strict customs, and everything just clicked for me.
J.W. I think that’s great that you started with FanFic. I think many of us do. We can play out scenarios with characters we already know. And now I see how you entered Regency. That makes so much sense. I’ve read some that I think must be similar so I can see how it would be fun. So now that we’ve discussed what and why you write, I want to know, how often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?
D.H. I have a daily goal of “sprinting” or writing without interruptions, Monday through Friday for two hours. I give my time M-W-F to my fiction work in progress. I use Tuesdays and Thursdays for non-fiction, blogs, reports, bulletins, and so on.
J.W. That is a very encouraging schedule. Not as grueling as I expected. Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
D.H. Do think of the time you write as your work hours. Do not let the phone, family, other chores, or the internet interrupt your work hours any more than you would at an office job or other employment. Take yourself seriously. If you have to schedule an appointment during your work hours, try to make them up elsewhere in your day. I work at writing from 9:30 to 11:30 and post my word counts hourly to a Facebook RWA sprinters group. That’s accountability. I want to add two more hours to my day, but I think it will have to wait until autumn or I get a portable air conditioner.
J.W. Excellent advice. I know I struggle with taking my writing seriously, but I see the wisdom of your words. Good to know that schedule’s made such a difference in your work. Inspiring, Demi.
Thank you so much for taking a few minutes to chat with me. This has been fun and informative.
D.H. You’re welcome, Julia! I enjoyed our little chat. Sorry about the feathers everywhere.
Born and raised in Southern California, DL Hungerford began writing right about the time you would expect. She has worked as a child care provider, a cook, a caterer, a clerk, customer service operator, blackjack dealer, house cleaner, bird breeder, a case worker for local government, and a supervisor of case workers. She honed her writing skills through fanzines, epic letters, and minutes for various clubs. She also wrote newsletter submissions for clubs, as well as movie and booALL RB Coversk reviews.
DL loves the world of fiction, especially Regency England, but hopes to explore other horizons as time permits. She still lives in Southern California with her husband, a spoiled cat, a spoiled dog, and a flock of parrots and other birds.
She also writes under the pen name of Roxanna Haley. You can contact her through any of the various links below: